Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Front. More Rain

The rye seed is growing into little shoots. I am amazed it has survived the pounding rains. We have had some gully washers.

Yesterday, it got warmer and more humid, and we must have seen a merging dewpoint because the garage floor started sweating. And everything felt sticky. We went to bed last night to the news that the cold front had slowed, but was still a sure thing. It rained in the night. But, when the front came through, folks east of us got hail, and threat of tornadoes.

Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill church in Seattle has a new sermon up. All about Mary's song. And how Mary worshipped instead of worrying. She worshipped instead of fretting. When the angel Gabriel appeared just to her, she was full of wonder, and trust. It had to occur to her why God was doing this in relative secrecy. It sure would have made her life easier if Gabriel had appeared to her folks, or to the whole town. Instead, Gabriel appeared just to Mary, and then gave her the secret of her cousin Elizabeth's miracle. So, Mary went to visit Elizabeth---probably a one hundred mile walk. And stayed a few months. And when they first met--words flew out of their mouths that were definitely from the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth knew and proclaimed---why does the mother of my Lord come to visit me?

Let's play what if. What if Gabriel had announced to Mary's folks and the town that Mary was the OT fulfillment of the promised virgin. Was there a danger of people wanting to worship Mary? Was there a danger of word getting back to Jerusalem only five miles away? Was there the danger of the enemy finding out? By hiding Mary in a small, poor town, and letting the neighbors think the worst, it was a double hiding. The danger of her being stoned for an out of wedlock child was real, and when the rumors circulated and got back to Joseph, her fiance', he determined to "put her away quietly". And so God had to give him directions in a dream. Not once, but three times. God told Joseph to take Mary as his wife. Then God told Joseph to flee to Egypt, and later, when to return. God used dreams to communicate with Joseph.

Maybe Mary needed the toughening boot camp of hiking to Elizabeth's and back. Maybe Mary needed the ruin of her reputation to keep her hidden, and safe. Maybe Mary needed the rejection of her town to keep her eyes on the Lord, and loosen the ties to home, and friends, and tradition so that she can travel to Egypt, and then settle in Nazareth to raise God. To change God's diapers, to kiss God's take God to a wedding supper and prod God into turning water into wine. Surely, Mary had little brothers and sisters, or helped with little children in her villiage enough to know that her baby was different. She had to hear old, old prophets tell her strange things when her baby was presented at the temple to be circumcized. And the Bible says she pondered all these things in her heart. And when Jesus was 12 years old, and got separated from the caravan going home from Jerusalem, as a normal mother, she paniced, as we all would. And Jesus said He had to be about His Father's business...but from 12 to 30, Jesus stayed home and helped keep His family fed. Jesus worked. Learned. Knew all the Scripture by heart. Probably helped out with His brothers and sisters. Became the head of His family after Joseph died. We are not told when or how Joseph died.

It is a choice. We can ponder and worship or complain and worry. We can worship and wonder or be bitter and unforgiving. And we worship 24/7. The question is what are you worshipping at this moment in time?

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